You’re here because you want to spend less time on admin, and more time with your patients or growing your practice.
Maybe you’ve heard of practice management software and you don’t know where to start.
The question is:
How do you get there?
A large practice will have a dedicated practice manager to perform those time sapping admin tasks.
But for many private practices these jobs will be done by you, the practice owner.
And that just isn’t sustainable in the long run, right?
The good news is that there is software out there which can help you to spend less time on admin, and more time with your patients.
In this article I’m going to show you:
- What practice management software is
- What the benefits are to you as a clinician
- What the benefits are to your client
- Whether your practice really needs this software
- Which software to choose
Let’s dive right in!
What is Practice Management?
First off, let’s understand what ‘practice management’ is:
Practice management is the term used for the admin and business side of a healthcare or medical practice. The responsibilities include:
- Client record management
- Appointment and diary management
- Reminding people about appointments
- Ensuring you comply with GDPR
All this admin often distracts from the actual service being delivered by you to your clients.
What is Practice Management Software?
Practice management software does the hard work for you.
It helps you to put everything involved with running a private practice into one secure and automated place.
Basically, it’s there to save you time and worry!
While a small practice might be able to get by using paper-based and manual systems, many practice owners find that they work in a much more efficient and professional way once they move to an online practice management software.
You’ll also be able to run your clinic from anywhere (with internet!)
Your information is stored in the cloud, so assuming you have a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone; you can run your clinic with confidence and ease.
Cloud-based practice management software is extremely secure and it is now the preferred software model of pretty much all major software vendors, including Microsoft 365.
What does Practice Management Software include?
A really basic practice management software typically includes:
- Appointment diary
- Client database
- Clinical notes
- Patient correspondence
- Financial reporting
What you really want to look for though, are some of the more cutting edge companies who will also offer:
- Online forms and assessments
- Online consent portal
- Cashless payment functionality (including in person)
- Online booking
- Video Consultation feature
- Automatic email and SMS communications (especially reminders)
- Client waiting list
- Task lists
- Templates for documents and notes
- Medical practice and clinician analytics
What are the benefits of Practice Management Software to you?
Now that we know what the software is there to do, let’s explore how it might actually benefit you:
You will spend less time on admin… I mean a lot less!
You’ll spend much less time looking for information, preparing notes, writing client emails and text messages, and so much more.
You can send out forms to be completed online in advance of the appointment, and some of the more advanced practice management systems will automatically import the client’s data from this form straight into their contact record.
Your clients can even book appointments themselves using online booking functionality, which cuts out telephone calls and emails.
Their information is then automatically added to their client record, and your diary is automatically updated with the details of the appointment.
You can reduce your no shows to almost nothing.
Using automated appointment reminders is really effective, and as the system sends them out for you, you’ll never forget.
You can also set up integrations with payment systems like Square, meaning your clients can pay for their appointment before it is even confirmed in your diary.
You’ll have the time and the tools to grow your practice.
Because your software streamlines your admin for you, it creates more time for you to spend with clients – if you want to!
It frees up hours which you can use to invest in activities to grow your practice like marketing so that you can take on new clients and generate more income.
You can also run reports which will help you understand what’s happening in your practice so that you can start making improvements in areas you didn’t even know you needed to.
You can simplify your compliance with key regulations like GDPR.
Yep, this is the big one:
GDPR can be a major source of anxiety for many practitioners.
Luckily, most major practice management systems have ways to simplify the process.
They make it easier to capture privacy consent (Article 13 of GDPR) and fulfilling access requests (Article 15 of GDPR).
Pretty neat, huh?
You can start saving the planet!
Going paperless is a really great way to make your practice more eco-friendly.
In general, healthcare facilities use approximately 2 billion pounds of paper each year, adding to the already overflowing landfills around the globe.
What are the benefits of Practice Management Software to my clients?
The added bonus of practice management software is that it can make a really good impression on your clients, too:
You can improve your client’s experience and interactions with your practice.
When it’s easy to communicate with clients, you’ll do more of it!
And your clients and partners will love the professionalism and care that this shows.
Their data is secure.
Your data isn’t stored on a laptop or PC, so if either of these were stolen your data is safe.
All your patient information is protected on a secure server which complies with GDPR.
They don’t always need to speak to you.
Ok, this one sounds weird.
But people tend to prefer booking online rather than picking up the phone.
One of the biggest drawbacks of phone-based booking is that whilst they’re a more personal experience, they’re reliant on two people to make the booking work.
That presents an issue for your potential client, who has to bend their schedule around your hours.
On your end, the hours you can take bookings between are limited by the numbers of calls you can take at any given time.
Using online booking means clients can book at any time, on any platform, from anywhere in the world.
They can pay online, too.
Cashless payments are huge (and important) in the world we live in post-COVID.
Bank transfers are also slow, clunky and time consuming for clients, who may end up putting off paying until they have a bit more time.
The best practice management software will integrate with platforms like Square, meaning you can take payments online at the click of a button either before or after the appointment.
You can also take card payments in clinic, even if you are a one-clinician practice.
They’ll get more time with you during appointments.
Because they’ve filled in your intake and consent forms online before their appointment, you don’t need to spend that time doing this with them in the clinic.
Your clients will see this as a huge benefit:
They are getting more appointment time for their money, and getting the help they need more efficiently.
Does my practice need this software?
This might all sound a bit whizzy, and maybe something you might not really need or want to spend money on.
But think again:
Statistics from a recent study conducted by SoftwareAdvice.com point to a growing need for this software.
According to their research, the most common needs that practices had when starting with or switching to a new practice management system were:
- Better organisation
- Integrated and automated assessments and forms
- Reduction in time spent on admin
- Integrated scheduling
- Integrated billing
If these functions are important in your clinic, chances are you’ll benefit massively from a proper clinic management software.
If you still aren’t sure, take our short quiz on this very thing!
Which software should I choose?
This is different for every practice, and there is no right or wrong answer here.
The best thing to do before choosing which practice management software to use is to take advantage of a free trial which most of them offer.
You don’t need to import all of your patient information into every system you try.
Just set up a dummy client or two, and work through a typical patient workflow to see how it feels.
Whilst on your free trial make sure you can tick off most, if not all, of these key factors:
- It boosts efficiency and saves you time
- It automates tasks and streamlines your workflow
- It enhances your clients’ experience
- It has a stable and reliable invoicing platform
- It is a scalable solution, so you can continue to use it as your clinic grows
What does the software not do?
It doesn’t do the real job; seeing patients and helping them!
That’s what you are there for.
So why not let technology do the admin for you?
If you still aren’t sure, take the quiz! It will help you to focus on what really matters to you while you run your practice every day.
Got any questions?
If you have any questions, or just want to chat to us about what an integrated practice management solution could do for you and your practice, just grab us for a live chat.
The button is just there in the bottom right corner of your screen.